Veterinary practices are essential businesses and our medical teams have been working very hard to provide healthcare for your beloved pets, both before the COVID-19 pandemic began and beyond.
PLEASE BE UNDERSTANDING
At Animal Health Partners (and all veterinary clinics) we have had to develop, adopt, adapt and roll out additional safety measures to ensure our teams remain healthy and COVID-19 free, so we can continue to provide care for sick and injured pets. If members of our medical team get sick, our whole hospital is impacted as we test other team members, close departments, deep clean the hospital, and attempt to halt the spread of disease. We do these things to keep our team safe so we can remain open to provide the care your pets need. In addition, every veterinary hospital (especially emergency practices) has seen a marked increase in the number of pets who need services.
SHORTAGE OF VETERINARY STAFF
The veterinary industry is dealing with shortages of equipment, medications, and more as the disruptions caused by the pandemic reverberate around the globe.
Additionally, the veterinary industry as a whole is facing a severe staffing shortage. We are trying to hire for many positions to support our hospitals, but there just aren’t enough veterinary professionals out there.
THE SAME STRESSES AS EVERYONE ELSE
All of our hard-working team members have been affected by the pandemic in the same ways you have been. We are all struggling with childcare in the face of school closures, we are all fearful of getting sick or passing the virus on to a loved one or co-worker, and we are all trying to cope in this strange new and uncertain world we find ourselves in.
OUR ER’S ARE OVERWHELMED
While our teams are still here and will continue to be here for you and your furry family members if they are sick or injured, we ask for your understanding and patience. Your access to our hospitals and staff will likely be different for quite some time. The days of us being able to accommodate a quick “fit in” appointment with a specialist or have the emergency veterinarian see your pet immediately for a non-life-threatening issue are no longer possible for the foreseeable future.
Emergency hospitals like ours are seeing unprecedented caseloads as we take up the slack in areas where family practices are at capacity.
Please understand that there will be a long wait if you come to our ER. We must treat cases with the most life-threatening conditions first. If your pet had been hit by a car or was in heart failure, you would want them tended to before the pet with an ear infection…remember this and be thankful that your family member is not in the condition that warrants us to rush them into treatment. Triage is not a game you want to win.
OUR ICU’S ARE FULL
In direct correlation to the demand for emergency services, critical care departments in the veterinary industry have also reached capacity. We never want to redirect a case needing care from a criticalist, but when all of our patient beds are in use, our options are very limited.
If your pet needs care in our ICU, please have the emergency or referring veterinarian call as soon as possible so we can ensure that we have availability before your pet arrives.
PLEASE BE PROACTIVE
Critical life-threatening emergencies should come straight to us. If you have time, please call ahead to let us know when you’re coming. Less urgent pet emergencies can be handled by your regular vet or, if appropriate, by appointment with one of our specialists.
If your pet is not having a critical emergency, we encourage you to first try making an appointment with your primary care veterinarian if they’re open and able to get you in. Alternatively, you can use our ER in a non-critical emergency, but please recognize that we triage cases as they come in and there will likely be a long wait for your pet to be seen. Plan ahead and pack snacks, face masks, hand sanitizer, games, reading materials, a power cord, and lots of water.
PLEASE BE KIND
Please appreciate the veterinary professionals who are working long hours in trying conditions to make sure your sweet pet has access to the healthcare he or she needs. While the majority of our clients are grateful we are still here caring for their pets, it is demoralizing and unacceptable for any of us to be verbally abused, yelled at, argued with, or threatened for simply trying to do our jobs in an already difficult time. It is happening on a daily basis with increasing frequency and is contributing to the devastating emotional toll our profession has endured for years.
Bottom line, veterinary professionals continue to serve our communities tirelessly during this time of global crisis. Please do your part to help us help you and yours by being understanding and patient with your veterinary healthcare team, and proactive in managing the wait times for yourself and your family. We are all in this together, and the only way we’ll get through this is by extending some compassion and kindness to each other.